News obit: Bluegrass musician and music super-fan Lloyd Johnson dies


Lloyd Johnson, a bluegrass musician and beloved Asheville bluegrass music super-fan, died June 20. He was 73.

Johnson was born in Buncombe County, the sone of Frank Johnson Sr. and Leatha Phillips Johnson, according to his obituary. The U.S. Army veteran owned a HVAC company and also performed in a number of bluegrass bands, including Dixie Grass Band. Lloyd Johnson played guitar.

Two bars in Asheville – Jack of the Wood and The Bywater – recently held special remembrances of Johnson, a patron who supported local musicians.

Johnson is survived by his son, Steven Lloyd Johnson; one brother, David Johnson; and his wife Hazel.

In a 2014 Asheville Citizen-Times story by correspondent Carol Rifkin, Steve Johnson recalled that his aunt was president of the worldwide fan club of Bill Monroe. The bluegrass legend and his son, James Monroe, would hang out at the Johnson’s south Asheville home, the younger Johnson recalled. Theirs was a musical family, and they traveled to bluegrass festivals around the U.S.

Steve Johnson, who started his own music booking business, was hired as events and artist relations manager for MerleFest at Wilkes Community College in 2012.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to establish the Lloyd Johnson Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will “honor the memory of Lloyd Johnson and his appreciation of music from Western North Carolina, especially Bluegrass Country and Classic Country,” according to the GoFundMe page.